Flavel, S (2015) Nietzsche and active nihilism: why it’s good to be a nihilist. In: Mike Ryan Lecture Series, 19 February 2015, Kennesaw State University.


This talk considers the origins of the notion of nihilism as a philosophical problem and position, in relation to Friedrich Nietzsche’s highly contentious claims that ‘God is dead’ and ‘we have killed him.’ The notion of nihilism has generally been considered in negative terms, as a detrimental crisis of values that threatens the meaning of human life. However, we would do well to inquire whether nihilism is only problematic, or whether it also offers a positive contribution to how we understand life in the modern world? In responding to this question we consider Nietzsche’s less prominent notion of ‘active nihilism.’ This notion indicates a positive moment in history, in which humans find themselves free to explore new creative avenues of meaning and valuation. With reference to the Japanese philosopher Nishitani Keiji, we also consider how nihilism might play a positive role in opening Western thought to an engagement with non-Western values and ideas.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2015 20:40
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2016 13:27
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